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Coronavirus in Scotland: Stay-at-home warning over bank holiday weekend


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Coronavirus in Scotland: Stay-at-home warning over bank holiday weekend

Image copyright Getty Images Nicola Sturgeon has urged people to stick to lockdown restrictions and stay at home over the bank holiday weekend.The first minister warned that the risk remained too high for people to “ease up” at this stage.Ms Sturgeon said sticking with the lockdown was key to driving down the rate of the…

Coronavirus in Scotland: Stay-at-home warning over bank holiday weekend

lockdown on Glasgow streetsImage copyright
Getty Images

Nicola Sturgeon has urged people to stick to lockdown restrictions and stay at home over the bank holiday weekend.

The first minister warned that the risk remained too high for people to “ease up” at this stage.

Ms Sturgeon said sticking with the lockdown was key to driving down the rate of the infection.

And she urged people not to “throw away all the good work” they have done by putting themselves and their loved ones at risk.

She said: “I know this is especially tough over this long weekend when the sun is out. But I am confident the majority will comply.

“We cannot allow ourselves to be complacent with this virus.”

Referencing the anniversary of VE Day, Ms Sturgeon said: “Personal sacrifice for the common good is a lesson we can learn from those whose courage 75 years ago we are remembering today.”

The Scottish government’s lockdown measures say people should go out as little as possible in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce details of a “cautious road map” for easing restrictions in England on Sunday.

On Thursday, Ms Sturgeon said she would not be “pressured into lifting restrictions prematurely” and that it would be a “potentially catastrophic mistake” to abandon the stay-at-home message.

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Media captionCoronavirus: ‘One slip now could get you infected’

However, she also said she may be prepared to agree to a change to the guidance which limits people to only exercising outdoors once a day.

On Friday, she said this was “the only change that we’re considering in the immediate term”, and that there would be a further update over the weekend.

The first minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, has already announced that people there will be able to exercise outside more than once a day.

Ms Sturgeon said there had been a “helpful recognition” from the prime minister that the four UK nations “may well move at different speeds if our data about the spread of the virus says that that is necessary to suppress it”.

She said it was thought that the R number – the average number of people an individual is expected to infect during an outbreak – is higher in Scotland than the rest of the UK.

Image caption

Sunbathers in the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow earlier this week

Police Scotland’s chief constable backed the stay-at-home strategy and said the public were coping with “very restrictive measures on personal freedoms”.

Iain Livingstone praised communities for stepping forward collectively and individually to “do their duty and help each other”.

He added: “I want to acknowledge and highlight in particular the significant sacrifices which children and young people are making during this important stage of their lives, when many milestones and events are arising.

“I’m extremely grateful for the public’s support for policing. It is my plea, today, for everyone to continue to exercise the self-discipline, commitment and common sense, which has, thus far, served us all well.

“It is essential to protect the NHS and to save lives. Please stick with it.”

The importance of following the lockdown restrictions was stressed earlier this week after a large number of people were seen apparently flouting the rules in a Glasgow park.

In her daily briefing, Ms Sturgeon also said Scotland had made a “significant step forward” in its capacity to test people for Covid-19.

The first minister said that capacity within the NHS had risen by more than 2,000 tests per day to bring the total to more than 10,000 per day.

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Ms Sturgeon said she expected that number to exceed 12,000 per day “by this time next week”.

A total of 1,811 patients have now died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by 49 from the figure on Thursday.

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